Plant Family / Ornithogalum - Star of Bethlehem
The genus, Ornithogalum includes many species - about 150 of them - which occur in their natural habitats predominantly on the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. Ornithogalum are bulbous perennials which can be divided into two groups: those that are winter hardy (Ornithogalum umbellatum, Ornithogalum nutans) and those that are not (Ornithogalum arabicum, Ornithogalum saundersiae and Ornithogalum thyrsoides). They are trouble-free, grow in any soil and naturalize easily. These plants are attractive subjects for woodland gardens, rock gardens and borders. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and contact with the sap may cause skin rashes
A member of the Hyacinth family, Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem) are bulbous perennials grown for their clusters of typically star-shaped, white flowers in spring or summer, depending on the species. They quickly form large clumps of grassy or strap-like leaves.
Ornithogalum nutans is an attractive bulbous perennial boasting one-sided racemes of up to 15 fragrant, nodding, bell-shaped, white flowers in mid to late spring. Each blossom consists of 6 tepals adorned with white edges and a green stripe on the outside.
Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem) is a bulbous perennial bearing pretty racemes of star-shaped white flowers, green on the outside, in late spring to early summer. The flowers open only if enough sunlight is present. During dull weather, they close to display the green exteriors of their petals.